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mackenzie brown

Explore CDSWOY All-Time Roster Members

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MacKenzie Brown

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2020
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Written by Adam Shinder, The Daily Gazette Staff Writer

MacKenzie Brown’s secret for playing three varsity sports while excelling academically and undertaking internships that will set her on the path to a law career?

“I sacrifice a lot of sleep,” Brown said.

That’s just the way Brown, a senior at Rensselaer High School, likes it.

“It’s been a lot of hard work and time management, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s really what I love to do,” she said. “It’s just an amazing experience to be a three-sport athlete, and it’s honestly an honor.”

A three-sport athlete at Rensselaer in track and field, soccer and basketball, Brown is one of 10 high school honorees for the inaugural Capital District Sports Women of the Year awards, which also sees three college athletes recognized.

It’s on the track where Brown has made her biggest athletic impact, holding three Rensselaer school records — one on her own in the steeplechase, two as part of the 4×100 and 4×400-meter relay teams.

Brown, who said her favorite event is the hurdles, is willing to stretch herself over any distance.

“Each race has its own challenges,” Brown said. “Steeplechase is so hard because it’s a long race with the big barriers, and then there’s the water, but 4×1 is also hard because, even though it’s a shorter race, you put all of your energy into that and you have to get the baton perfectly. You don’t want to be the one that messes that up for the rest of your team.”

The melding of the team and individual is what attracts Brown to track and field the most.

“I can win a race by myself,” she said, “but you have relays and you can also win as an entire team. Personal achievements are good, but the team achievements are the better ones.”

Brown was also a team captain and starter for the Rensselaer soccer team and maintains a 95 average in the classroom as a member of the National Honor Society. She’s received numerous awards for her athletic and academic achievements.

Outside of school, Brown is a dedicated volunteer whose community service includes assisting as an organizer for a youth summit through the Troy Drug Free Community Coalition, collecting clothes for Jeans for Teens through Circles of Mercy and volunteering with organizations like the Red Cross Blood Drive, Rensselaer Christmas in the City, Trunk or Treat through RADAR and the Kiwanis Club Community Pancake Breakfast.

“I always like to stay moving, stay doing something,” Brown said. “There’s 24 hours in a day, and if I can volunteer and make someone happy, but also be part of a team, I’d rather do that than anything else.”

Brown also gets immense satisfaction from her internships at Albany Law School and Rensselaer City Court, which she hopes will pave the way for studying criminal justice in college and eventually attending law school herself.

Brown interns in the domestic violence clinic at Albany Law School, getting to both sit in on classes “with actual college kids who are in law school. That’s amazing,” and assist students in the clinic with their casework.

“They don’t treat me like I’m just some high school kid that doesn’t know what they’re talking about,” Brown said. “They realize that I have potential and I have the drive to know where I want to go in life. That has been a great tool to help me get there.”

This article appeared in the 2020 CDSWOY Awards Program on August 18, 2020.

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